SwampMan and I spent the day yesterday at a hospital doing his presurgical stuff for his knee replacement surgery, paying the copays for the surgeon and the hospital which left our checking account empty, and being notified that the surgery that was supposed to take place on the 26th had been moved to the 23rd. That wouldn’t be a problem, would it? While SwampMan assured everybody that there would be no problem at all, I whimpered quietly in the corner.
I have three less days to get the house all ready for an invalid. Did I mention that the boys will be here starting the evening of the 17th through the evening of the 23rd? I have less than a week to complete my shopping (did I mention that broke part? I had hoped to hit some last minute deep discounted sales). There will be strange people traipsing in and out of my house, too. No, not relatives. Home nursing and physical therapy will each be coming in three times per week. While the kids are here.
“Please, can we just drive to physical therapy and dispense with the home nurse?” I asked with a tone of desperation in my voice. “What, are you kidding?” SwampMan answered. “We can’t drive the kids to physical therapy!” My eye started twitching just picturing small children, toys, pillows, socks, assorted clothing, and blankets strewn throughout the walking space. Then I started picturing innocent health professional complete strangers tripping over said toys, games, children, pillows, and video game controllers, breaking bones, and suing. If they didn’t trip inside, what if they tripped over a duck or a chicken outside? Hyperventilating. Pull yourself together. Everything will be okay. You can do this. Ohhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm.
Well, while he was in the hospital, I’d be able to straighten the house and maybe cook some Christmas goodies to have on hand for the nice ambulance people that will be taking me off to be Baker Acted, I thought to myself. Three days under psychiatric observation would probably be fun. Maybe I could even do a little last minute shopping before I get involuntarily committed. Maybe I can drink all the cooking wine in the house! (Note to self: Replenish the cooking wine.) I still need money, though. Perhaps I could sell my soul to Satan. I’ve never really used it yet. It’s practically brand new! I wonder if I should put it on Ebay, or would Craigslist work? The person making conversation while doing SwampMan’s paperwork suddenly jerked me back to the present. WHAT was that?
“Everybody has a private room in our hospital!” the person making the arrangements repeated proudly. “So you will be able to stay right in the hospital room with him and help him with his physical therapy! You can be his walking buddy if he wants to walk the corridors late at night! You won’t have to go home and can stay here the entire time!” WHAAAAAAAAAT? Noooooooooo! My eyes bugged out, but y’all can be proud. I didn’t utter the first obscenity. I did not leap across the desk and strangle that cheerful person, though I have to admit that it was quite a struggle for I dearly wanted to. Then back to SwampMan. “We have you on the waiting list for surgery in case a cancellation occurs next week, so you need to discontinue your anti-inflammatory medications NOW.”
SwampMan told me that, when his surgery was over with, I could take the children home and then, after their Mommy gets them Monday night, I can come back and stay in the hospital room. “Uh, I really don’t want to drive at night when I’m not sure of the way….” I began. “How about I be there right after breakfast in the morning?” I really don’t like to drive where I’m liable to be caught in a shootout between police and armed robbers, either. Hospitals aren’t located in peaceful suburbia. There usually aren’t any gun battles or carjackings at breakfast time. “You’ll be FINE. I’ll program the GPS for you! You know I can’t sleep when you’re not there!” said SwampMan. Well, what I know is that I will not be able to sleep when I’m THERE because I’ll be adjusting his blanket, or his pillow, or getting him a drink, or pain medication, or, well, thousands of other things. And he’ll be on drugs, too, really good ones. I don’t think anybody will give me any. Hmmmm. Being shot dead by an armed robber was beginning to have a certain appeal.
SwampMan hobbled into the house tonight and announced “I feel like SHIT!”
“Well, what’s wrong?”
“I hurt ALL OVER!”
“Is it the change in weather or because you discontinued your medication?”
“I dunno. I feel terrible.”
“Well, maybe it’s because of the physical therapy stuff yesterday. Get on your exercise bicycle, and maybe you can work it out.”
“I’M NOT GETTING ON ANY DAMN BICYCLE, AND YOU KNOW WHY?”
“BECAUSE YOU TOLD ME TO! I’M NOT DOING IT BECAUSE YOU SAID I SHOULD.”
*sigh* “Whatever.” The next couple weeks are going to be interesting. I may do his knee replacement surgery myself with a hammer.
Later in the evening after dinner, SwampMan was feeling almost jovial. “So, when are we having Christmas dinner?”
“I believe we’ll be having it Christmas day. It will probably be imitation turkey and jello.”
“No, when are we having everybody over for Christmas?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps when you’re no longer zonked on pain meds.”
“Do it the Sunday before!”
“We can’t do it the Sunday before. SwampDaughter and her husband are in church until 4:30 p.m. and couldn’t be here before 5:30. Mom and SwampBrother will want to be on the road back to Georgia by 4 p.m. in order to get home before dark. I don’t know if SwampSon is going to be home next weekend. I need to call him and let him know that the Christmas dinner that was moved to Christmas eve dinner has been cancelled, too.”
“How about Saturday?”
“SwampDaughter and SwampSoninLaw are working.
“Well, how about this weekend?”
“What am I going to cook for Christmas dinner? Chicken and rice? We’re a little, and by that I mean totally, broke here!”
“Well, it doesn’t have to be turkey or ham. It could be beanie weenies as long as we’re together….” grumbled the man who, just a couple hours earlier, was issuing orders to me about how he only wanted fresh broccoli with dinner, and no damn frozen veggies like I’d snuck on his plate last night. And tater tots. And steak. Here I could have made beanie weenies instead.
If I don’t see y’all before Christmas, well, I’m either running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done, or I’ve completely lost it and am sitting in a dark closet somewhere. I pray that you will have the merriest of Christmases with your family and friends.